Blanchflower147.30pm LeftWatch: Which Left-wing economist predicted that unemployment would be four or five million by now?

3.45pm LeftWatch: Twigg would ban "unqualified" teachers from free schools – but not from Eton

2.45pm Local Government: Council leaders should keep calm and carry on cutting

1pm ToryDiary: Wind farm subsidy equivalent to £100,000 per job

11.45am ToryDiary: Cameron: No "moral equivalence" between Assad regime and the Free Syrian Army

ToryDiary: If Cameron is to defuse Leigh's criticisms, he must get on the front foot over renegotiation

As the G8 prepares to meet near Enniskillen, Theresa Villiers, the Northern Ireland Secretary, writes on Comment: We're hosting the G8, and have a new deal. Why Northern Ireland is great – and can be even better

In his first major piece since being awarded a knighthood, Sir Edward Leigh says that the Centre-Right Steering Group of Conservative MPs are questioning the path the leadership is taking: After a weak Queen's Speech, we could lose the next election – unless we change course

SuntimessyriaCameron "faces defeat" over Commons vote on Syria…

"David Cameron has been warned that he faces an embarrassing defeat in the Commons if he tries to win parliamentary agreement for Britain to arm Syrian rebels. The prime minister and William Hague, the foreign secretary, are keen to help the forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad, but Conservative whips have told Downing Street there would be little chance of winning a vote for such a move. The Tory whips calculate that up to two-thirds of their MPs oppose deeper British involvement and Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs would also be likely to vote against." – Sunday Times (£)

  • "Seventy-one officers, including six generals, have defected from the Syrian army to Turkey, a Turkish official said on Saturday, the biggest single mass desertion of senior soldiers from President Bashar al-Assad's security forces in months." – Reuters

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: On Syria, Cameron should be the heir to Blair

…as he meets Putin to discuss the issue…

"David Cameron is due to hold talks in London with Russian President Vladimir Putin – expected to focus on the Syria conflict – before the two leaders fly to Northern Ireland for the G8 summit. Mr Putin has made no secret of his opposition to the US supplying the rebels with weapons. Mr Cameron will also have a one-on-one meeting on Monday with US President Barack Obama before the G8 summit." – BBC

  • "Cameron’s problems are a lack of appetite for action among  Western leaders and that his own voters are weary of grim news from the Middle East. Moreover, Putin – with his desire to again make Russia a counterweight to the West – continues to send military equipment to Assad. Samantha Cameron is as keen as her husband to raise public awareness of Assad’s barbarity. In March, she told close friends that she hoped her visit to Syrian refugees in Lebanon would alert this country to the awful plight of the Syrian people." James Forsyth Mail on Sunday
  • "Cameron will support US plans to impose a no-fly zone over parts of Syria, as he attempts to convince world leaders to act against the “dictatorial and brutal leader” President Bashar al-Assad during the G8 summit in Northern Ireland this week." – Independent on Sunday

Iossyria..and Iran plans to send in 4,000 Revolutionary Guards

"The Independent on Sunday has learned that a military decision has been taken in Iran – even before last week’s presidential election – to send a first contingent of 4,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against the largely Sunni rebellion that has cost almost 100,000 lives in just over two years." – Robert Fisk Independent on Sunday

Boris to draw up "balance sheet" on leaving EU…

"Boris Johnson has raised the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union by ordering advisers to draw up a balance sheet of the pros and cons of the effect on the City. The mayor of London has given his chief economic adviser the task of sounding out key City figures on the potential impact of withdrawal. Gerard Lyons, a former bank economist, is to produce an economic and financial report focusing on how London would fare if Britain’s relationship with Brussels changed, looking at a number of possibilities, including exit." – Sunday Times (£)

>Yesterday: MPsETC: MEP candidates and hustings for the North East, North West and Yorkshire

Zacg…as Zac praises "magic" Boris…

"Tory MP Zac Goldsmith has fuelled doubts over David Cameron’s leadership, saying he lacks vision and praising ‘magical’ Boris Johnson as his potential successor….He said: ‘I’m a big fan of Boris, I make no secret of that. It’s very plausible to imagine him being the leader of our party one day, and I
think he’d be a very good one.’ He added: ‘I see him as a very serious figure as he’s unique in British politics .  .  . whatever that magic is, he’s got it.’ " – Mail on Sunday

…while ComRes poll shows Boris far more popular than Cameron

"Boris Johnson’s popularity is outstripping that of the Conservative Party and David Cameron, a poll for The Independent on Sunday reveals today. In a survey which will fuel the rivalry between the Mayor of London and the Prime Minister, Mr Johnson enjoys a favourability rating of 44 per cent, compared with  Mr Cameron’s 23 per cent, the ComRes poll shows." – Independent on Sunday

JeremyhuntHunt to give hospitals Ofsted-style inspections

"It is understood that the new system will be designed to provide patients with an easily understood barometer of the standards of care in their local hospitals. Hospitals judged to be risking patients' health will be put into special measures – where experts force managers to change their habits, as happens now with failing schools. The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, believes the current system – under which trusts and care homes are merely told whether or not they meet certain minimum standards – encourages a "tick-box mentality" that leads to poor care." – The Observer

Maria_miller_mpMaria Miller demands protection for children from online porn

"On Tuesday I will hold a summit at the heart of Westminster where I will throw down the gauntlet to companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter. These are companies that, in these modern times, lie at the heart of our everyday life and at the heart of our children’s everyday lives. I will say that things need to change, that enough is enough, and when I do my children will be at the forefront of my mind, as they always are." – Maria Miller Mail on Sunday

Change in EU referendum wording agreed

"David Cameron has agreed to change his controversial EU referendum blueprint amid fears the original plans could unfairly produce a ‘stay in’ result. The Prime Minister has bowed to Eurosceptic pressure and revised the crucial ‘in/out’ question to be put to the nation if he wins the next Election.
The alteration will see voters asked if the UK should ‘be’ in the EU, rather than ‘remain’ as in the original wording." – Mail on Sunday

Cameron to "look again" at GM food

"The Prime Minister said he wanted to foster a “pro-science culture” in the UK, and this started with a shift in Britain’s attitude towards so-called GM food, dubbed "Frankenstein food" by its critics. The comments come ahead of a major speech by Environment secretary Owen Paterson on Thursday next week which is set to signal a change in GM policy." – Sunday Telegraph

TheresamayMatthew d'Ancona on the ambition of Theresa May

"Last week, Theresa May’s conviction that she could do the top job became fully public. The Home Secretary's speech to the Reform think tank was not the first time she had unveiled such a wide-ranging personal manifesto. In March, she strayed far beyond the borders of Home Office policy in an address to ConservativeHome’s “Victory 2015” conference. That could have been explained away as a one-off, a broad-based rallying cry at a campaign event. But May’s speech last week, ostensibly on the subject of public-service reform, spread its thematic wings with no less audacity.." – Matthew d'Ancona Sunday Telegraph

WollastonSarah Wollaston MP says you have to be awkward or you are ignored

"The way bills are put through parliament is ridiculous, she says. "I am never put on a delegated legislation committee on something which I could contribute to. The classic case was when I was put on one on double taxation in Oman. I know nothing about double taxation in Oman." – Interview The Observer

Byrne warns Labour against coalition with Lib Dems

"Labour could form a minority government rather than join a coalition if there is a hung parliament at the next election, according to a member of the shadow cabinet. Liam Byrne, a former chief secretary to the Treasury, believes his party could achieve more without entering into a partnership with the
Liberal Democrats if it wins the largest number of seats but fails to secure a majority in 2015." – Sunday Times (£)

ObstwiggTwigg says Labour would sack unqualified teachers in state schools

"More than 5,000 untrained teachers who have been allowed to work in academies and free schools under Michael Gove's education reforms will be sacked if Labour wins the next election, unless they gain a formal qualification within two years. The proposal is one of several to be announced by the shadow education secretary, Stephen Twigg, as the opposition joins battle with Gove." – The Observer

Hoey challenges Ed Miliband over EU referendum vote

"Ed is inherently very pro-EU. But he has got members of his shadow cabinet who, without doubt, would like to see us change our position. I think the strength of his leadership will be to show he does realise it is untenable to continue with this position. A good start would be to say that he is very happy with Labour MPs going along on July 5 to vote for a referendum." Kate Hoey The Sun on Sunday

  • "The case for a referendum on Europe is overwhelming. The only issue is when it’s best to hold it. The Tories may be squabbling but they are united on the idea of a referendum. For a man who wants to be PM, however, Labour leader Ed Miliband seems to have contempt for ordinary people." – The Sun Says

SuntelwindWind farm industry subsidised at £100,000 a job

"A new analysis of government and industry figures shows that wind turbine owners received £1.2billion in the form of a consumer subsidy, paid by a supplement on electricity bills last year. They employed 12,000 people, to produce an effective £100,000 subsidy on each job." – Sunday Telegraph

News in brief:

DisraeliAnd finally… Tory sex scandal: Disraeli had love child whose descendants live in New Zealand

"Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria’s favourite prime minister, had a love child, whose descendants are living in New Zealand, according to new evidence. Catherine Styles, 76, a pianist and actress based in Auckland, has written a memoir in which she claims her grandmother, also called Catherine, was Disraeli’s secret daughter. She was born in March 1866, when Disraeli was 61." – Sunday Times (£)


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